The Usuki Singing Stars #3: Lola Moves In
“Here’s another box,” Sparkles said as she brought in a little box from outside. The pink Bruce was huffing and puffing as she spoke. “Where do you want this, Lola?”
Lola pointed to a corner in her room. “Over there is just fine.” Sparkles nodded and followed Lola’s direction. Sparkles, Patricia and Scary- who refused to help anybody –were helping Lola settle in her new home. Although she was technically living in her new home for three weeks now, the yellow Cybunny was appreciative of her friends’ help to help her unpack the new furniture her adoptive mother, Ms. Butterworth, bought from the Furniture Shop. Lola was pleased with her new room. The walls were a bright yellow and the windows were decorated with white curtains with a daisy motif. She wanted the room to stay like this forever.
Mr. Porkers was happy with his little corner, which had his bed and a scratching post, even though he was a Snorkle. Although he was content with sleeping in his own bed, Mr. Porkers would sometime sleep with Lola in her bed. But this was once a week.
“Perfect,” Lola declared as Patricia placed a very heavy box by Lola’s vanity. “This is perfect! Thanks, Pat.”
Patricia grunted. The faerie Shoyru had to resort to carrying the box on her back, just so she could get it into the house! She sighed and stretched her back. She felt very sore. After the girls- except Scary, who didn’t do anything –finished with the boxes, it was time for tea and cookies.
Ms. Butterworth was very keen with her tea time. Before Lola came, the cloud Bruce would spend her teatimes with her Warf, Bubbles. But Bubbles wasn’t a fan for teatime. He wanted to run around the house. But now teatime was more splendid. Ms. Butterworth enjoyed talking to Lola and Bubbles enjoyed playing with Mr. Porkers. Today, the topic was about Lola’s friends.
“So, any of you have petpets?” Ms. Butterworth asked. She turned to Sparkles, and then to Patricia.
Sparkles nodded. “I have my Angelpuss, Princess. She is very nice. We play eat time everyday and Princess is very keen with her tea and enjoys wearing make-up and-”
“Pumpkins is much better,” Scary interrupted. The purple Bruce didn’t want to hear Sparkles talk about Princess anymore. “Pumpkins can do math and she knows a lot about Shenkuu. What does Princess know? How to be a grade A ninny!”
Sparkles growled. Ms. Butterworth laughed. Lola and Patricia just sipped their tea. She decided not to interfere with the argument. After teatime was done, the girls ran upstairs to Lola’s bedroom. The boxes were still there, but the girls didn’t mind them.
“This house is great,” Patricia sighed. “You’re so lucky to be adopted from a very kind Bruce, Lola.”
Lola smiled and sat on her bed. “Thanks. This place is the best. But... I still feel a bit uneasy.”
“Uneasy? Why are you uneasy?” Sparkles wondered. She stopped admiring Lola’s pink vanity.
Lola sighed. “I guess I need to get more adjusted in this house. I still get confused a bit sometimes, but I’m glad Mother helps me out.”
Mother, Patricia thought. She never knew Lola called her new mother ‘mother.’ But now a new thought came to mind. Whatever happened to Lola’s real parents? She knew they moved to Brightvale, but were they still there? Did they buy a farm? Are they still poor? As badly as she wanted to know, Patricia decided not to ask. It would make Lola more uneasy if she did.
After a moment of silence, Sparkles asked Lola, “Do you still think about your parents?” Patricia bit her lip. This was the question she wanted to avoid asking!
Lola sighed. “I do sometimes,” she admitted. “But I try not to as much anymore. After all, they are in Brightvale right now. They’re probably busy planting potatoes or something.”
The girls nodded. Even if Meridell produced more potatoes, even Patricia could picture Lola’s real parents planting potatoes and wearing potato sacks. Did they want to pound Lola so she wouldn’t be forced to work all day? Or did they want Lola to stay in Neopia Central forever? This was another question that wasn’t worth asking.
Lola smiled hopefully at her friends. “But I’m really glad I get to stay here! I’d rather be pounded here than work on a potato farm. As long as I’m close to you guys, I can go along with anything.”
Sparkles and Patricia awed as they both hugged Lola. Scary just mumbled to herself, but even she couldn’t resist giving Lola a light squeeze as well. When the group hug was over, Lola thanked her friends one more time. Everyone nodded. When the sun began to set, it was time for them to go home. Lola waved goodbye to everyone.
Lola sighed as he closed the door. Somehow, her uneasy feelings were starting to fade away! Her new home started to feel a lot like a real home now. It could be because she talked about her true feelings to her friends.
When dinnertime came along, Lola helped Ms. Butterworth set the table. When the table was set and the food was getting ready, Lola opened a can of petpet food and poured it into Mr. Porkers’ food bowl. Mr. Porkers happily ate his dinner.
As Lola was pouring herself some mashed potatoes, the uneasy feelings she was feeling before started to flood back. She didn’t have an appetite when she ate her dinner. Ms. Butterworth was worried. Mr. Porkers and Bubbles were still eating their dinner.
“Please pass the potatoes,” Ms. Butterworth said kindly. Lola was dazing off as she stuck her fork through her peas. “Lola?” Ms. Butterworth asked.
“Huh,” Lola was confused, and tired, when she suddenly remembered her mother’s request. She quickly passed the peas. After Ms. Butterworth thanked her, Lola continued to stare at her food. She felt un-hungry for some reason. This was a first; she would usually eat her dinner at her own pace, trying hard not to be rude. So why wasn’t she hungry now?
Ms. Butterworth wiped her beak with a napkin. “If you would like to talk about anything, Lola, now’s the time to speak.” She smiled at Lola. Lola looked guilty as she placed her fork on her plate.
“I don’t know what’s wrong,” Lola admitted. “At first, I felt like this was home. I felt satisfied every day, and Mr. Porkers is happy too with all the food you’ve provided for him. But I’m still not sure if I belong here. You might think it’s a bit silly, though, so-”
“I don’t think that at all,” Ms. Butterworth gasped. “If there’s anything wrong, my dear, I’ll help you. I understand if you’re not settled in completely. Some things take time and patience to revolve. I’m confident you’ll settle in our home.”
Lola smiled. She felt really guilty for doubting Ms. Butterworth. As if nothing had been felt, Lola ate her dinner and waited for dessert. Having dessert was something Lola wasn’t used to having! Today’s dessert was a slice of chocolate cake. By the time Lola finished her slice, Mr. Porkers and Bubbles were finished eating and were now running around the house. When they decided to take a short nap, Ms. Butterworth gave a cup of hot tea to Lola.
“A cup of tea is a great way to get rid of one’s daily stresses,” Ms. Butterworth quoted thoughtfully. Lola thought she sounded like a wise Shenkuu scholar. The tea was weak and it tasted like vanilla. Vanilla is, according to Ms. Butterworth, a de-stressor for tired Neopians.
Ms. Butterworth took one sip of her tea and said, “I remember when I first found the secret to the perfect cup tea. It was actually last year when I made my first trip to Shenkuu. I visited many temples, but only one temple gave me a cup of tea. He said I look tired and stressed, which I was. After just one sip, I felt revived and perky, as if I was somehow created again! The yellow Koi who gave me the cup told me that the secret ingredient was vanilla. I thanked him and made my way to a food shop, where I bought some tea leaves and some vanilla flowers. But the rest is history.” Ms. Butterworth took another sip of her tea and sighed with relief.
Lola took a sip. This tea tasted differently than the tea they used for their afternoon tea. This tea tasted sweeter and Lola felt more relaxed. As if all of her troubles were slithering away.
As Lola prepared to go to bed, she looked around her room again. Her room was till yellow, but it felt calmer and more home-like than before. Lola tucked herself in her new bed and turned her lamp off.
Suddenly, she felt something squirming in her bed. Lola lifted her blanket and saw Mr. Porkers. Without asking, Lola placed the blanket over Mr. Porkers’ body. Mr. Porkers nuzzled himself beside his owner.
“We’re finally home, Mr. Porkers,” Lola whispered as she closed her eyes. “We’re finally home.”